This section collates recent developments impacting the health sector in India.
As a nurse on a remote tea garden in the north-east Indian state of Assam, Mitali's days tend to be long. In a state with the highest maternal mortality in India, 229 deaths per 100,000 births, much of her time is spent with young mothers, who are invariably undernourished, often underage, and usually reluctant to seek care. So that they will seek the care they need - and return - Mitali must act as health worker, counselor, and friend.
The women who tend India’s famous tea gardens live and work on remote farms that accommodate between 100 and as many as 5,000 workers. The workers depend on their employers for their income, housing, food rations, fire wood, and other necessities. When sickness strikes, their only recourse is to turn to Mitali and her coworkers, a full-time doctor, a primary care nurse, and a team of community health volunteers, who staff the tea garden health center. Together they are responsible for ensuring that the 3,500 people in the tea garden stay well. However, limited resources at the health center and long distances between the tea garden and the towns where hospitals are located often turn serious complications, particularly during pregnancy and birth, into fatal ones.